Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM BLAKE SMITH: The Road to Stonberg (The Mercenary Series Book 1).

Gavril thought defeating a giant was the most interesting thing he’d do all week. But when a merchant caravan needs guards for the treacherous journey over the mountains to Stonberg, he can’t resist signing on, and learns that even peaceful men don’t always have peaceful lives.

FROM JULIE PASCAL: Too Late For Vengeance

Very few humans survive the Obsidian transformation that grants them the ability to pilot between the stars, the ability to slip between. Now both star pilots and humans are trapped on the surface of a primitive world, abandoned to an eternal quarantine. Human refugees and their descendants struggle to build a new civilization and a new life. The immortal star pilots become known as Obsidian Witches.

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN: Learnedly Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Seventeen

Where do you file a Missing Meister Report?

Something is moving. Arthur Saldovado, Lelia, and André defeated ancient evil, but mysteries remain. And worse – Arthur’s name-sake is learning how to drive! Who needs abyssal creatures when you have teenagers, school-yard spats, and retail woes to worry about? Certainly not Lelia Chan Lestrang.

When André’s mentor disappears, Lelia braces for the worst. Trouble’s coming, as bad perhaps as the evil that drew her and André together. But she has a few surprises of her own now, including allies in very strange places. With very strange senses of humor.

Return to a Familiar world, full of adventure, bad puns, dark music, magic, shedding lemurs, and domestic chaos.

FROM P. L. KENNY: Havisham’s Collection: A Short Story.

It started with a mermaid.
When a very ordinary family finds a mermaid in the street, their lives take a turn for the extraordinary. A humorous fantasy.

Also includes an excerpt from the supernatural thriller The Demon Ring of Lilitu.

FROM SCOTT SLACK: Closing Time, Last Call

When Corporal Frandsen’s marine battalion was tasked with retaking a space station from enemy forces, he expected a hard fight. What he got was a fight for his life with a time-limit that could kill his entire battalion. What is an enemy willing to risk to win a battle at any cost? Everything.

This is a short story that is currently stand-alone.

FROM D. SCOTT JOHNSON: Death’s Harvest (Gemini Gambit Book 4).

He ran from her, and was never seen again.

Will disappeared through the portal, and they have no way to get him back.

That was not how the story would end.

Kim has to find him, but the portal is destroyed and nobody knows how to build a new one. They have to go back to basics by experimenting with dimensions, with physics…

With her.

Because, somehow, Kim’s special abilities are tied into the technology that created the portal. Mike has theories she doesn’t trust. Tonya has ideas she doesn’t understand. Spencer has tech that’s held together with bailing wire and duct tape. But Kim doesn’t have a choice. They have to get Will back.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, a brand-new D-ship pilot is waiting anxiously for her captain to return.

FROM HOLLY LEROY: Hostile Earth.

Terra Vonn is fighting to survive in a destroyed world, surrounded by unspeakable horror . . . and things are about to get much worse. After witnessing the vicious murder of her mother, Terra has a singular focus—exacting revenge on the killers. But before she can complete her plans, savagery intervenes and she is cast alone into a brutal post-apocalyptic world. As she trails the men south through a land filled with cannibalistic criminals, slave traders, and lunatics, the hunter becomes the hunted. Terra quickly learns that she is neither as tough nor as brave as she thinks she is. Worse, she may be the only one who stands between what little remains of civilization and destruction

FROM BILL PESCHELL: Career Indie Author: Tell Your Stories and Build a Business That Will Last a Lifetime.

As a storyteller, you know a lot about developing your plot, creating characters, and editing your work. But do you know how to protect your copyright, record your income and expenses, the risks and rewards between “going wide” and sticking with Kindle Unlimited, and how to market your work? Have you thought about what tasks you should outsource and what you can do in-house?

Running your own business successfully means understanding the business mindset, where cash flow is the life blood and decisions you make at the start of your career will affect everything that follows.

“Career Indie Author” charts the landscape of indie publishing in the 21st century, where you set the rules and choose your path to publishing.

FROM ASIAPAC AND DANNY JALIL: Lieutenant Adnan and The Last Regiment.

Lieutenant Adnan and The Last Regiment / Illustrated by Zaki Ragman / Written by Danny Jalil / History of Singapore 1942 Japanese Invasion The Battle of Bukit Chandu Paperback ISBN 9789812297020 / 978-9812297020 Publisher: Asiapac Printed in Singapore 118 Pages Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi was a man who fought valiantly to defend Singapore during the Japanese invasion in February 1942. He, along with the rest of the Malay Regiment, battled the Japanese soldiers on Bukit Chandu. These great men were Singapore’s last defense and fought bravely to the end, despite being captured, and even tortured. Narrated by the son of Lieutenant Adnan’s son, Mokhtar, this comic book tells the story of Lieutenant Adnan’s life – not only depicting the infamous Battle of Bukit Chandu, but also the events before the critical battle and its repercussions thereafter. Through this book, readers would gain a deeper insight into Lieutenant Adnan’s admirable character, as they will be given a glimpse of who he was, beyond his role as a soldier: a husband and father.

FROM ODESSA MOON: The Bride from Dairapaska (The Steppes of Mars Book 1).

On a terraformed Mars, young Debbie Miller was sent far from her rural village as part of a marriage compact between the rulers of two demesnes. A peasant who knew only obedience, she accepted her duty to bear her husband’s children and work alongside him. But when they were sent to build a village in a barren patch of nowhere, her abusive husband forces her to take action. She flees with her children and their dog into the vast open steppes where dying was preferable to life with him.

Debbie only wanted to escape, but her encounter with the Steppes Riders, and especially Yannick of Kenyatta, unwittingly ignites changes that attract the attention of Mars’ ruling families. Left to her own resources, Debbie must adapt to her new life and figure out how to defend her adopted people.

The Steppes of Mars series imagines a transformed world where a disaster on Earth decades ago cut off all contact with its wealth and resources. Experience a Mars where its genetically modified inhabitants have developed their own cultures, beliefs, and religions. A semi-feudal world where ruling families control vast demesnes under a central government at Barsoom. A world of limited resources where train travel is possible but cars and planes are not. A world of free-cities — open and domed — villages, vast fields and steppes, and people banding together to survive and thrive in this harsh new world.

FROM C.V. WALTER: The Alien’s Accidental Bride (Alien Brides Book 1).

Molly was no stranger to life’s little detours. After the last upheaval, she left her family’s law firm to become a maintenance technician on the Space Station Bradbury 12. When an accident knocks her off her feet, she’s going to have to draw on all her resilience to get back up. First, though, she’s going to have to figure out how to talk to the big, blue alien trying to help her.

There wasn’t supposed to be a space station where Mintonar’s ship emerged from the galactic bridge. As far as they knew, there wasn’t supposed to be intelligent life on the planet, either. Proof of how wrong they were is laying in his Medical Bay and it’s his job to save her. When he touches her, his life turns upside down and his mission suddenly includes figuring out why everything inside him insists she’s his mate. And convincing her of the same thing, especially when they don’t even speak the same language.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: NARROW

33 thoughts on “Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

  1. “What’s this narrow spoon?”
    “It’s a marrow spoon.”
    “I can see that it’s narrow. I want to know what it’s for.”
    “It’s for spooning out marrow.”
    “Yes, for when you need a spoon that’s narrow to scoop something out. But what is that something?”
    “Marrow! The inside of bones!”

  2. They stood behind the barricade, a lull in the hours long bombardments.

    “Yesterdays, tomorrows, infinitely long”, said the sarge to the young troopers.
    “You want to make the universe a better place?”, he queried?
    “You’ve only a very narrow window in which to do so,” he went on, “called now.”

  3. Well, I hope that I managed to thread the narrow time gate to make sure you got your cut of the computer build expenses. (About thirteen years, it was past time; I usually replace every ten or so.)

    That is my entire contribution today – the weather is absolutely beautiful here in Tucson, which means massive Honey Do yard work. I’ll trade anyone who can send snow, please!

  4. “Your focus is too narrow,” said Isabella. “To have any hope of power, you must widen it to take it more. You can not achieve a wall of earth by moving a pebble at a time.”
    Ava glared at the earth. She stretched her power as far as she could.

  5. Steve mentally reviewed the plan and said “So the portal to Man’s Home is the narrow gate.”

    The Lady Of The Tower replied via the Mirror “Yes, the Great Devourer can only enter this world via the physical portal but to successfully prevent It from entering this world a few Power-Users must enter the Void between Worlds.”

  6. “You’re a mite narrow there in the brain pan to be a Denebian. Try again?” The little blue creature squatted down on a cushion and smiled.
    Five, four, three, two…
    I was all out of smiles meself. “I’d rather not be a fat head if it’s all the same to you.”
    The explosion flipped the creature ass over tea kettle and he landed with a whomp, his blue skin fading to gray. Time to skedaddle.

  7. The train surged through the forest, the trees confining them to a narrow passage no larger than the train.
    Far better than by carriage, Millefleur thought It would take a week, and they would arrive exhausted and filthy. It was fortunate that few places did not have the train nowadays.

  8. The ink-stained wretch cowered before the desk of the Lord High Publisher. The Lord High Publisher skewered him with a steely gaze, and the pitiful creature screamed in pain.
    “Silence, Igor!” The Lord High Publisher said these words softly, but to Igor, they were as thunder. He raised a pitiful bundle of papers, as if to ward off blows.
    He began to whine in a nasally voice, “Master, I think I have found something in the pile!”
    “Very well, Igor.” The Lord High Publisher said, sounding bored. “And just what have you found amongst the slush?”
    Igor perked up. It seemed his master was in a generous mood. Perhaps, he might even avoid being stapled, spindled and mutilated. Igor began to say, “Master, I have found a story that will make you rich beyond…” Until he was cut off by a ringing slap.
    The Lord High Publisher set the bell back down on his desk, and said, “I have heard this all before. Just answer my questions, and I shall judge for myself. Is this story shamelessly derivative?”
    “Yeth Mather.” Igor said, for his tongue had been rather badly crushed by the clapper.
    “Does this story feature saving the world, epic heroics, and an improbable plot involving a McGuffin?”
    “Oh, Yeth Mather.”
    The Lord High Publisher began to look interested, and said, “Is it full of million-to-one chances and other impossible odds?”
    “Yeth Mather”.
    “Does it feature a humble, likable protagonist?”
    “Yeth Mather.”
    “Is it full of fantastic creatures, locations, and unpronounceable names?”
    Igor began nodding rapidly. “Yeth Mather!”
    The Lord High Publisher leaned forward with a predatory look, and said, “And there is, of course, gratuitous sex?”
    Igor looked stricken.
    The Lord High Publisher said, “I’ll take that as a No.” He pushed a button on his desk. A trapdoor opened underneath Igor, and the cowering wretch disappeared with a dwindling scream. A moment later, a gout of flame shot up through the open trapdoor.
    The Lord High Publisher shook his head (but very carefully, for he had only recently returned from a four-martini lunch.) “Too bad.” He said to himself. “That story sounded like it had potential.”

    1. Dang, so that why I got so many rejection slips back before I overcame my writing addiction (My name is ____ and I’ve been ink free for ____ years now.).

      I thought it was gratuitous violins and graphic sextets that sold.

  9. “And we had better get back home. You have to master climbing up, too, and before they return. Best to leave time for that. There will be more hours to ramble if we aren’t caught.”
    He looked about, dismissed a narrow alleyway that led their way, and picked a street.

  10. “You can’t deny you’ve created a lot of controversy.” The reporter’s smug expression added extra sting to the words.

    Her response was quite irate. “That ‘controversy’ was created by a few narrow-minded bigots, not me. The religious ones damn me as an offense against God, the atheists condemn me as an offense against Nature, and then they scream at each other about which interpretation of my evil is the valid one. Both sides call me an inhuman monster because my ancestors modified their DNA to eliminate a number of genetic afflictions and make their lives better. They proclaim that my ‘unnatural’ hair and eye colors are either the mark of the Devil, or the legacy of a mob of mad scientists.”

    “Then there are the ones that call me a ‘white supremacist’ because of my skin color, and the ones saying I’m ‘homophobic’ because I married a man, and I’m not sexually attracted to women. Most of those demand that I dye my hair because the color ‘triggers’ them.”

    “All of them claim I’m the one being intolerant, for failing to conform to their prejudices.”

  11. “No,” said Robert.
    Aidan looked between them, and started down a narrow hallway, the sort that only servants would use. “It’s easier to have you meet her than tell the story and then have you meet her. I don’t even know it all, though they did have us train together.”

  12. “You’ve been going from one website to another for the last three hours, and you don’t have the first word written. I thought you wanted to go to the concert tomorrow.”

    “I do, but how am I supposed to write a five-page paper on the Expulsions when I don’t even know where to start?”

    “You can start by narrowing the topic to something more manageable.”

  13. Another Familiar tale out???!?!? (Another reason to hate the ‘zon- they didn’t tell me, but oh well, at least this way my purchase has added a few pennies to our Hostess.)

    1. You might want to add TxRed’s website to your bookmarks. She announces each release on Der Tag, and will publish snippets of upcoming work. Other subjects come up as appropriate. FWIW, M-Familiar is coming out fairly soon.

  14. Passing along this book promo that popped up in my mailbox:

    From NESFA (New England Science Fiction Association):

    More good news! We just got in the second edition of Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith.

    Anyone wishing to order a copy can do so on this page: NESFA Press Store – Norstrilia.

    The Instrumentality of Mankind, Cordwainer Smith’s future history, ranks with the greatest creations of science fiction. Set in that future history, Norstrilia tells the story of the boy from the planet Old North Australia (where rich, simple farmers grow the immortality drug Stroon), how he bought Old Earth, and how his visit to Earth changed both him and Earth itself. This new edition of Norstrilia corrects a number of errors and omissions in the previous versions. It adds an appendix containing a full chapter of bridging material written by Smith when he broke Norstrilia into two shorter novels for its original publication as The Planet Buyer and The Underpeople. It also includes text removed from the magazine versions. Alan C. Elms, a noted Smith scholar, provides an introduction. This volume is a companion to the NESFA Press edition of The Rediscovery of Man and finally brings back into print all of Cordwainer Smith’s SF. Norstrilia was Smith’s only SF novel. It was originally published in two pieces. The first, The Planet Buyer, was published before his death, and the second, The Underpeople was published posthumously. When Smith disassembled Norstrilia for publication, he wrote nearly a chapter of new bridging material. This NESFA Press edition of Norstrilia follows Smith’s original text, but includes the added bridging material as an appendix.

    Introduction by Alan C. Elms
    Appendix: Variant Texts [bridging material from The Planet Buyer and The Underpeople]

    Please email if you have any questions.

    1. Somebody noted that Infogalactic is ongoing, but like Gab, a lot of outfits try to ignore such.

      (I find Wiki is useful for ephemera–If I need an episode guide for Season 2 of Vera, that’s where I’ll look.)

  15. A bit late to the party, but…

    I muttered a fusillade of quiet curses as I turned my head so I fit through the narrow crack in the cave. I hate these parts. It’s not quite claustrophobia, I just hated the risk of getting stuck. But the rewards for diving a new cave made it worthwhile. We’d see what we found this time.

  16. Simon eyed the cleft in the rock. It was narrow, wide enough for only one man, and that not a big one. Nevertheless, the path he had dreamed led through it. But there was no sign of a path. The bottom of the cleft appeared to be thick with grass and the dried stems of other herbs and flowers. He looked around, carefully, slowly, and sniffed the breeze. There was no sign of man or beast, so it would be safe for the moment if he set down his carry sack while he explored. There were false dreams, and true dreams, and he could not always tell which was which without following them through to the end. He approached the cleft, laid his hand on the cool rock, and peered inside. Blackness. Was it a cave? He had seen no sign that this was a beast’s lair. He took off a sandal and felt the ground with his bare foot. Damp, beneath the vegetation. It was likely that water flowed through this cleft when it rained, so perhaps the path led up rather than down. He retied his sandal. The dream had suggested something important on the other side, but had only remembered this much when he had walked through the forest to this point. It appeared to be one of *those* dreams. He turned toward his left so that he would sidestep, leading with his right hand and foot into the cleft, and cautiously advanced.

  17. Hi folks.

    We’re heading to the hospital in a half hour or so. Prayers appreciated. The guess is the procedure will take an hour (strikes dubious look) and I’ll be coherent later on. Will try to comment today or tomorrow.

  18. I confess. A few years ago, I was thinking “I’ve been doing enough research on history, I think I’m going to try writing straight historical fiction”. Then a character woke up in my back brain and said “The hell you will!”, and stared pressuring me to write his story. I’m calling it a historical fantasy, My elevator pitch, so to speak, is that Simon Magister is an immortal wizard who has been traveling around the world for thousands of years fighting creations of evil and superstition. I’ve decided to use these writing prompts, to experiment with snippets and scenes that may or may not appear in the final product. Rather than spam Sarah’s blog, I hope it’s not out of line to invite anyone interested in the concept and process to visit my own, “From the Ground” at, and drop any comments that may occur to you.

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